NOLA.com / Times Picayune
Many of the bills passed by the Louisiana legislature this spring have a distinctly anti-business tone that hasn’t floated through the halls of the State Capitol in years, the Baton Rouge Business Report reported.
The legislature’s reliance on revenue raised on the backs of business is what’s driving the sentiment among private sector leaders that legislators took a short-sighted path to closing a $1.6 billion budget. The Business Report reports that leaders are calling this spring’s session “the worst in decades for business interests.”
Considering many of the revenue-raising bills will sunset, business leaders know legislators are going to be coming back to Baton Rouge looking for ways to raise revenue long-term. That’s why people like Adam Knapp, of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber President, are expressing concern about the “tone” of the spring session.
“For a decade or more you’ve had a reform-minded, business-savvy tone,” Knapp was quoted as saying. “Now we’re hearing old Louisiana-sounding populist rhetoric.”
Yes, there were “a handful of minor victories,” as the Business Report described some of the session’s bills. And the legislature’s efforts to keep the state’s colleges and universities funded at current levels and their decision not to get rid of Common Core standards right away were well received.
But now the business community is eyeing what’s in store for next year.
“We’re turning our attention to the spring 2016 special session, which will be needed to fix some of this mess,” Knapp told the Business Report. “We’re also focusing on the fall elections. The outcome now is more important than ever.”
You can read the Business Report’s story here.